Our Mission

Achievement Academy of Durham teaches and supports young adults who have dropped out of school in order to reconnect them to the opportunities an education provides. AAD students gain critical reading skills, earn their NC Equivalency Diploma and complete college preparatory training so they can succeed in a post-secondary program and attain sustainable employment.

Our year-round daily school provides the education and support necessary for high risk, initially low reading, hard-working students living in poverty to become sustainably employed. We pair formal education with the teaching of personal and leadership skills to turn lives around.

In addition to helping our students earn a NC High School Equivalency Diploma (“GED”), we work with our students through post-secondary education at Durham Technical Community College (DTCC) and other community colleges in North Carolina.

A postsecondary education enables our students to move out of poverty and gain financial stability for themselves and their children.

Since our founding in 2005, we’ve graduated 148 GEDs1, 60% of which have gone on to post secondary classes. You can help us do even more.

While other drop out recovery programs exist in Durham, none make the long term commitment to partner with young adults over the course of several years if necessary to:

  • make up for language and math basic skills gaps
  • teach strategies to overcome disabilities
  • help youth develop the social skills they need to thrive in the classroom
  • establish higher educational and career goals
  • set young people firmly on the path to achieve those goals
  • remain as a trusted resource along that path for as long as students wish

Achievement Academy GED graduates are succeeding in accredited post-secondary programs in:

General Education (University Transfer)
Computer and information technology
Health sciences
Machining technology
Early childhood education
Business Administration
Automotive technology

1 Number of GED graduates as of 07/22/2014.

Patrick's Story

Patrick enrolled in the Achievement Academy’s Starting Points program in August 2011. Almost twenty-one years of age and having dropped out in the 11th grade, Pat was reading at a fifth grade proficiency level when he joined our program and was confounding his grandparents with behavior that often seemed immature. With three months of intensive tutoring, Pat’s basic reading proficiency was at a high school level, but we could tell he was having difficulty with the sort of higher level interpretive tasks that appear on the GED. We guessed that some of the confusing behaviors he displayed might also have something to do with his difficulty with interpretation, so we addressed that together alongside his academic instruction.


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